“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”
As you know I am a big believer in people’s ability to manage their lives if they are willing to work on what would really make them happy and then to do what is necessary to make the changes that will brighter their future. I know it is not always easy, sometimes even risky, but there is nothing you can do that is more worthwhile than making an investment in yourself.
The first step is finding out what you really want and not just pretending that you already know. But I’ll tell you what; if you can make an objective evaluation of where you are now and where you would like to be you will have what you need to start working on a happier future.
Here is an abridged piece from Mark Chernoff that can help.
The 6 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today
If I ask you, “Quickly, in one sentence, what do you want most out of life?” I bet your rushed response is going to be something like, “I want to be happy, and have a healthy family, and a career I like that pays well, etc.” Your response is going to be so common and ubiquitous that it basically doesn’t even mean anything. Which is precisely why senseless, happy-go-lucky questions like this aren’t very helpful. And yet, this is precisely the kind of questions we often ask ourselves.
So what kind of questions might you ask instead? Questions that force you into a corner. Questions that help you embrace the sacrifices it takes to get where you want to go. Questions that motivate you to focus on the next step forward. In other words, questions like…
- What is worth suffering for? – If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the six-pack abs, you have to want the sweat, the sore muscles, the early mornings at the gym, and the low carb meals. If you want the successful business, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business deals and decisions, and the possibility of failing fifty times to learn what you need to know to succeed. If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is just an idealization, a fantasy, and a false promise. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all, because you’re not willing to suffer though the work it’s going to take to achieve it.
- Based on my daily routines and actions, where can I expect to be in five years? – This question just backs up the first one. If you have an idea about what you want the next chapter of your life to look like, you have to DO things that support this idea every day. An idea, after all, isn’t going to do anything for you until you do something productive with it. In fact, as long as that great idea is just sitting around in your head it’s doing far more harm than good.
- What do I need to spend more or less time doing? – As Stephen Covey once said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” In other words, productivity is not just about getting things done, it’s about getting the right things done. At the end of each day, look at how you have spent your time, and adjust the allocation as necessary for tomorrow. .
- What old rejections (or failures) are still holding me back? – All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make. We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some opinionated person or narrow circumstance once told us was true. Of course, an old rejection doesn’t mean we aren’t good enough; it just means some person or circumstance from our past failed to align with what we had to offer at the time. Don’t let old rejections take up permanent residence in your head. Kick them out on the street.
- What is worth smiling about right now? – A recent scientific study at Duke University showed that doctors who are put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis consistently experience significant boosts to their intellectual abilities than doctors in a neutral state, which allows them to make accurate diagnoses almost 20% faster. Students primed to feel happy before taking math tests substantially outperform their neutral peers. So it turns out that our minds are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative, or even neutral, but when they are positive.
- Are the people around me helping me or hurting me? – A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with. And as you know, it is better to be alone than in bad company. You simply cannot expect to live a positive, fulfilling life if you surround yourself with negative people. Distancing yourself from these people is never easy, but it’s a lot harder when they happen to be close friends or family members. As hard as it may be, it’s something you need to address.
When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.
A new convert to Catholicism decided to go to confession to deal with his transgression. In the confessional, he told the priest that he had sinned. “What was your sin, my son?” asked the priest.
“I stole some lumber, Father,” replied the man.
“How much lumber did you steal?” asked the priest. “Father, I built my German Shepherd dog a nice new doghouse.”
The priest replied, “Well, that’s not so bad.”
The man continued, “Father, I also built myself a 4-car garage.”
“Well, now, that’s a little more serious.”
“Father, there’s more. In addition to the doghouse, the 4-car garage, I also built a 5 bedroom, 4 bath house!”
With a pause, the priest finally spoke. “That is a little more serious. I’m afraid you’ll have to make a novena.”
“Father, I’m not sure what a ‘novena’ is, but if you’ve got the blueprints, I’ve got the lumber!”
“Most people would like to be delivered from temptation, but would like it to keep in touch.”
A man was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed the man by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!”
The man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”
Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”
He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”
If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.
Paul was not the brightest guy around. Every day, when he walked home from work, he would get stopped by three nasty men and they would beat him up and steal his money. Finally, Paul decided that it would serve his best interest to walk a different route, but also take some self-defense classes so this wouldn’t happen again. He joined a karate class and soon was doing very well with it.
So, one day, on the way home from work, Paul confidently decided to take his old route home and, sure enough, there they were. He walked up to them and the battle ensued. The next afternoon, Paul went to his karate class with a black eye, a broken nose and a busted lip. His instructor was shocked and asked for an explanation.
“Well,” explained Paul, “I took my old way home last night so I could beat those guys up who used to steal my money.”
His instructor said, “What happened?”
Paul replied, “They jumped me before I could get my socks and shoes off!”
Some people drink deeply from the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.
Grant M. Bright
The passengers were leaving the plane after landing, and one smiling, satisfied passenger paused to congratulate the flight attendant.
“Stewardess,” he said happily, “I want to compliment you and the crew and especially the captain for getting here right time. It’s not often that an airline gets to where it’s going exactly when they claim it will. I’m going to call your home office and let them know how pleased I am.”
“Why, thank you, sir,” the flight attendant answered, “but I think you should know this is yesterday’s flight.”
The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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